Just after the St. Louis Blues fired coach Ken Hitchcock and turned the bench over to Mike Yeo the team went on a 7-1-0 run that made it look like their season was turning around. Maybe the coaching change was the spark the team needed to get back on track and play up to the level we have seen from the Blues in recent seasons.
Then again, maybe not.
Since that 7-1-0 stretch the Blues have lost five games in a row and now find themselves one point out of a playoff spot behind the Los Angeles Kings (with two games in hand).
They look to snap that losing streak on Sunday night when they visit the Colorado Avalanche on NBCSN. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and you can see all of the action on NBCSN or on our Live Stream.
The good news for the Blues is they are certainly getting the right matchup on Sunday night when it comes to snapping a losing streak. Not only are the Avalanche the worst team in the NHL this season by a substantial margin, they have won just eight of their past 45 games (8-34-3), are on track finish with the worst point total since the league went to the three-point game format in 2005-06 (yes, even worse than the 2013-14 and 2014-15 Buffalo Sabres) and also just played on Saturday night while the Blues had the night off. It was a particularly ugly showing for the Avalanche in that game, too.
In other words, there is no excuse for the Blues, a desperate team that had the night off on Saturday, to not come out of this game with two points.
The biggest problem for the Blues during this recent losing streak has been an offense that has dried up, scoring just six goals (and never more than two in a single game) during that stretch, while no individual player has more than one goal or two total points.
Losing Kevin Shattenkirk, their best offensive defenseman and still second leading scorer, during that stretch to a trade certainly has not helped matters.
Yeo knows this is the type of moment that can make-or-break the Blues season.
“This is new for me, I’m still learning the group, still learning how we deal with adversity. We went on a bit of a run, so you see how the group deals with that, and now we’re seeing how they deal with the opposite end of things,” Yeo said, via the St. Louis Post Dispatch on Saturday.
“It’s obviously an area that we have to improve. If things aren’t going well, how do you react? It’s going to be ultimately what determines our season. We can be frustrated, disappointed, we can feel sorry for ourselves, but none of those things really matter. What matters is that we go out and we get the job done, we get excited about the challenge and we rise up to it.”